A bench of Justices U Lalit and Ashok Bhushan posted the matter for further aurally perceiving on March 15, as Solicitor General Tushar Mehta sought some time to file a report on the status of Mallya’s extradition.

The Centre on Monday told the Supreme Court that it is taking all efforts to extradite fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya, inculpated in bank loan default case of over Rs 9,000 crore involving his defunct Kingfisher Airlines from United Kingdom, but the process is being delayed to some licit issues involved in the matter.

A bench of Justices U U Lalit and Ashok Bhushan posted the matter for further auricularly discerning on March 15, after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta sought some time to file report on the status of extradition of Mallya. At the outset, Mehta shared a letter of the Ministry of External Affairs’ official Devesh Uttam inscribed to him on the status of extradition of Mallya from the UK.

The solicitor general verbally expressed that Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has raised the issue of extradition with the UK Government and the Centre is taking all earnest efforts to extradite Mallya. He verbally expressed that regime is endeavoring its best but status remains the same and from political executive level to administrative level the matter is being looked into perpetually.

The bench took the letter on record. Mallya, an inculpated in bank loan default case of over Rs 9,000 crore involving his defunct Kingfisher Airlines, is in the UK since March 2016. He is on bail on an extradition warrant executed three years ago by Scotland Yard on April 18, 2017.

The letter submitted by the law officer verbally expressed that, “the Ministry of External Affairs has been apprised by the UK regime that there is a further licit issue that requires resolving afore Mallya can be extradited.” It verbalized, “Under United Kingdom law, extradition cannot take place until it is resolved. As it is judicial in nature, the issue is confidential and you will understand that Her Majesty’s regime cannot provide any more details. We additionally cannot estimate how long this issue will take to resolve. Her Majesty’s regime plenarily understands the consequentiality of this case to the Government of India. I can reassure that Her Majesty’s Government is seeking to deal with the issue as expeditiously as possible”.

The letter further verbally expressed, “The Government of India has been making consistent efforts for early extradition of Vijay Mallya. In November 2020, Peregrine secretary Harshvardhan Shringla raised this issue with Priti Patel, UK Home Secretary who apprised that UK’s licit involutions were averting the expeditious extradition of Vijay Mallya”.

It further verbally expressed, “In December 2020, the external affairs minister Dr. S Jaishankar raised the issue with the UK peregrine secretary Dominic Raab and most recently in January 2021, the Home Secretary of India raised it with the UK Sempiternal Under Secretary of Home. UK’s replication remains the same”.

On November 2, last year, the top court had asked the Centre to file status report in six weeks on the confidential licit proceedings pending in the UK on extradition of Mallya to India.

The Centre had on October 5 told the apex court that Mallya cannot be extradited to India until a separate secret licit process in the UK, which is judicial and confidential in nature is resolved. The top court had withal relucted to accept the plea of advocate E C Agarwala, appearing for Mallya in the apex court, seeking discharge from the case.

The Centre had in October, last year verbally expressed it is not cognizant of the secret perpetual proceedings against Mallya in the UK as the regime of India is not party to the process. On August 31, last year the top court had directed Mallya to appear afore it on October 5, 2020, while dismissing his plea seeking review of the 2017 verdict which held him culpable of contempt for transferring USD 40 million to his children in contravention of court orders.

When the top court had asked Mehta about the time-frame for conclusion of proceeding pending in the UK, he had verbally expressed they have no information about it from the London High Commission. The Ministry of Home Affairs, in its affidavit filed earlier in the contempt case in which Mallya has been held censurable, verbally expressed that the pending licit issue in the UK is outside and apart from the extradition process and is confidential and cannot be disclosed.

The top court had in October, 2020 asked Mallya’s lawyer to apprise the apex court by November 2, last year what kind of “secret” proceedings are going on to extradite him.

The Centre had given details of the extradition proceedings against Mallya starting from February 9, 2017 till dismissal of his appeal against extradition in UK on May 14, last year and verbalized that the fugitive businessman has thus exhausted all avenues of appeal in the U.K

The Centre had verbally expressed that following the refusal of leave to appeal, Mallya’s surrender to India should, in principle, have been consummated within 28 days but the UK home office intimated that there is a further licit issue which needs to be resolved afore Vijay Mallya’s extradition may take place.

DISCLAIMER: The author is solely responsible for the views expressed in this article. The author carries the responsibility for citing and/or licensing of images utilized within the text.